WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Attorney General investigating Complaints Of Price Gouging, As Rumors Swirl

Reported: Jan. 10, 2014 11:20 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 11:48 PM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) -- Rumors and rumblings over alleged price gouging at some area convenience stores were burning-up social media as the water crisis unfolded in West Virginia Friday.

Eyewitness News checked into convenience stores from Cross Lanes to Dunbar to Kanawha City.

Bill Smeedy, the owner of the Cold Spot in Dunbar, was stunned to find ugly comments on Facebook, which were accusing him of jacking-up water prices.

"We're not gouging anybody," Smeedy said. “We're hurt more by someone hollering gouging, and there's not a basis to it."

He poured through his receipts to show exactly what people had paid for water on Thursday, when people swarmed his store for water and ice. Prices ranged from 79 cents to 99 cents for individual bottles of water.

"We don't sell by the case," he said.

Yet on social media, someone claimed he was selling cases of water for $30 and up, and the damaging rumor began to catch fire.

"It's really sad for one person to go buy 30 bottles at 99 cents, because he wants his water and everybody would have paid 99 cents," he said.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he is getting tons of complaints of price gouging at his office.

"I think it's outrageous,” said Morrisey said. “West Virginians, most of them are wonderful, good people, they're very sharing, but you always get some bad apples out there who try to take advantage of people during states of emergency, it's unconscionable!"

Morrisey said to nail the cheaters, you need to do two important things.

"Make sure you keep your receipt and ultimately file a report with our office," he said.
Smeedy denied the rumors of gouging and challenged anyone who said he engaged in it to produce a receipt.

“Just bring the receipt that I gouged you, and you get $500,” he said. “Won't happen.”

Morrisey anyone caught price gouging could expect to pay a $5,000 and, since it is a misdemeanor, could spend up to a year in jail.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Officials Discuss Path Forward From Water Crisis
News
Apr. 22, 2014 11:36 PM EDT
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) -- Eyewitness ...
Full News Story and Video

Officials Say As Many As 108,000 Experienced Health Issues From Chemical Spill
News
Apr. 22, 2014 11:04 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A local health official and ...
Full News Story and Video

Marshall Could Increase Tuition
News
Apr. 22, 2014 11:06 PM EDT
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Dan Matics) -- Marshall University ...
Full News Story and Video


News Findings Released On Kanawha Plane Crash
Apr. 22, 2014 11:03 PM EDT
News Candidate Forum Held In Putnam County
Apr. 22, 2014 11:02 PM EDT
News St. Albans To Vote On Fire Levy
Apr. 22, 2014 11:01 PM EDT
News Kanawha Co. Forum Identifies Drug Abuse, Obesity Among Top Concerns
Apr. 22, 2014 10:29 PM EDT
News Tennant Calls Conservative Group's Voter Registration Mailing "Misleading"
Apr. 22, 2014 11:07 PM EDT
News Huge Subdivision Coming To Poca
Apr. 22, 2014 6:33 PM EDT
News Eyewitness News Town Hall Tuesday To Tackle Post-Water Crisis Issues
Apr. 22, 2014 6:26 PM EDT
News St. Albans Voters To Consider Fire Levy
Apr. 22, 2014 5:48 PM EDT
News WV DHHR Appoints Three Deputy Secretaries
Apr. 22, 2014 5:07 PM EDT
News WV Supreme Court Says There Is "Good Cause" To Hold Hearing On Request To Suspend Plants
Apr. 22, 2014 5:57 PM EDT
News Barbour County Couple Pleads Guilty In Toddler Methadone Death
Apr. 22, 2014 3:08 PM EDT
News WV Chemical Safe Level For Water Based On Two-Week Exposure, Not 100-Plus Days
Apr. 22, 2014 1:39 PM EDT
News Local Children Plant Pinwheels For Abuse Prevention
Apr. 22, 2014 2:00 PM EDT
News NTSB Releases Preliminary Information On Plane Crash That Killed Two In Kanawha County
Apr. 22, 2014 6:25 PM EDT
News Law Enforcement Officers From All Over The State Train for Drug Interdiction
Apr. 22, 2014 2:12 PM EDT
News Freedom Industries' Run-Off Water From Spill To Be Disposed Of In Ohio
Apr. 22, 2014 12:53 PM EDT
News Public Input Sought On Storage Tank Safety Rules
Apr. 22, 2014 12:44 PM EDT
News Huntington Man Found Guilty Of Two Counts Of Murder
Apr. 22, 2014 11:07 PM EDT
News Judge Could Rule As Early As Wednesday On Charleston's Petition To Remove Prosecutor Plants And His Office From Hearing Certain Cases
Apr. 22, 2014 12:31 PM EDT
News Three Plead Not Guilty To Fatal Attack Of Lewis County, Ky. Woman
Apr. 22, 2014 11:42 AM EDT
News Troopers Say Man Charged With Attempted Murder Of Wife Following Shooting
Apr. 22, 2014 10:13 AM EDT
News Man Crashes Into Power Pole, Arrested For DUI
Apr. 22, 2014 4:19 AM EDT
News Firefighters Responding To A Fire In Boone County
Apr. 22, 2014 4:02 AM EDT
News Charleston Tables Race Fee Proposal But Concerns Remain
Apr. 21, 2014 10:44 PM EDT
News Trial For A South Charleston Man Accused Of Attempted Robbery Nears
Apr. 21, 2014 9:54 PM EDT
News Roane County Brush Fire Contained After Burning 15 Acres
Apr. 21, 2014 9:37 PM EDT
News Charleston Has New Fire Chief
Apr. 21, 2014 8:39 PM EDT
News Kanawha Prosecutor Plants Responds To Filing That Seeks His Suspension
Apr. 21, 2014 6:16 PM EDT
News Wildfire Forces Closing Of Portion Of New River Gorge Trail
Apr. 21, 2014 5:38 PM EDT
News New Police Officers Sworn In For Huntington Police Department
Apr. 21, 2014 5:55 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Jobless rates fall in 46 of 55 W.Va. counties

Unemployment rates fell in 46 of West Virginia's 55 counties in March.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Atmos Energy annual rate increase approved

Atmos Energy Corp. customers will see their bills rise after the company won approval for a $8.5 million annual revenue increase.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio state park facilities to be modernized

State officials are preparing to invest $88.5 million to upgrade and modernize trails, campgrounds and recreational facilities in Ohio's state parks over the next two years.
Full Story

PREVIOUS NEWS: NOV | CURRENT







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.